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Holmes - overview

In current age, users have various means of finding solutions to problems they face, pertaining to products they use. It ranges from modern age search engines at one end to complex human powered contact centers at another. One aspect that is common across these systems is for most of the problems, finding the resolution is an interactive process. The questions posed by users are often under-specified thus having a broad space of possible answers. Therefore, clarification dialogue is often needed to negotiate with the user and to get exact scope and intent of the problem. While humans are generally good at it, interactive process is a great challenge for automated systems. The goal of Holmes, is to build an interactive system for problem solving with minimal knowledge engineering effort required for adapting it to a new domain. As distinguished from existing system, goal is to return solution to the problem rather than a list of webpage links.

Holmes is an interactive problem resolution system that allows users to pose complex questions in near-natural language. It targets questions which need not be factual, but questions for which solution may include procedure or a series of steps to be executed. For doing this it mines information from various sources (web forums, technical documents, product manuals, chat transcripts) and engages in a interactive dialogue to solve the users problem.